Game consoles increasingly used to access digital video

More consumers are using their game consoles to watch video online.

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 by YuMe

Consumers are increasingly turning away from traditional television in favor of streaming video content. While companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have capitalized on this trend with streaming-only options, TV networks and hardware makers are following suit. Television manufacturers and tech companies like Google and Apple have created products for online streaming. In particular, Game console-makers, which once restricted themselves to video games, are evolving their products into more universal entertainment devices that provide streaming capabilities. As these devices become more prominent in households across the country, it's important for consumer brands to consider the potential residual effects on the reach of digital video advertising.

"Non-gaming activity is increasing among console owners, and a significant portion of this activity is streaming video online."

Game consoles becoming entertainment devices
Research company Nielsen recently released findings suggesting non-gaming activity is increasing among console owners, and a significant portion of this activity is streaming video online.

As part of its "Nielsen 360 Report," the company surveyed Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Wii U owners ages 13 and older. More than half of Xbox One users watch content from streaming services or on demand through their consoles, and roughly 42 percent watch short Internet video clips.

Forty-two percent of Playstation owners use their device to watch longer-form video through a streaming or on-demand service provider and 41 percent do so to watch short videos online. Finally, one-quarter of Wii U users stream or watch video on demand, and 35 percent watch short-form video on the Web.

Gaming remains the primary activity among all console owners, but Nielsen explained that watching video online – an activity previously considered more niche among gamers – has become a mainstream pastime for these consumers.

The future of consoles and what it means for brands
A recent article by the International Business Times examined how streaming is affecting consumer gaming behavior. The publication interviewed several experts in gaming, including Greg Trefry, video game professor at New York University and co-founder of designer studio Gigantic Mechanic.

"I think you'll see consoles continue to transform into a home media device that drives the entire living room," Trefry told the IBTimes. "They will play movies and play games, they may even control the lighting and the temperature. They may get smaller, they may be USB sticks or Bluetooth controller or a big black box."

The evolution of these devices is bringing more people online to watch video. As such, it's key that brands revamp their advertising strategies to ensure they're reaching consumers on the channels they're using most. Internet video advertising should be the cornerstone of these efforts.